At least 16 people have been killed and nearly 50 injured after a massive fire ripped through a hotel and casino in the Cambodian border town of Poipet. A concerned official said other victims are yet to be included in the list. Al-Jazeera news.
Videos posted on social media showed people falling from the roof of the Grand Diamond City complex after it was engulfed in flames. Both customers and employees, who were inside, were from neighboring Thailand. They also sent firetrucks to help put out the fire.
Bante Menche province information chief Sek Sokhom said the fire, which started at midnight on Wednesday, was finally put out at 2pm on Thursday. He said a local Buddhist temple was being prepared to receive the dead.
An initial police report said around 10 people were killed and 30 injured. But the province’s deputy governor, Engor Meng Khrun, later told Cambodia’s Bayon Radio that the death toll had reached 16, with around 50 injured. The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies of those trapped inside are found. Besides, seriously injured persons died of injuries.
Bante Menche police chief Sithi Low said 360 emergency service personnel and 11 firetrucks were dispatched to the scene of the fire, whose cause is still unknown. The casino, popular with gamblers and visitors from nearby Thailand, employed about 400 workers.
Most Cambodian and Thai employees died in the casino fire, according to the Phnom Penh Post news site, according to Nehem Phoeng, head of administration at the municipal office in Poipet, 400 kilometers northwest of the capital Phnom Penh.
The injured were taken to a hospital in the forested town of Thailand’s neighboring Sa Kaew province.
Thai authorities in Sa Kaew province said more than 50 people were hospitalized there. Public health official Prapas Pukduang told AFP news agency that 13 people were “on life support”.
(Dhaka Times / 29 December / SAT)